Author: Mike Lawrence
Similar books: Earthling by Mark Fearing
SPHDZ by Jon Scieszka
|a fun variation on a middle grade standard|
Summary (provided by publisher): Avani is the new kid in town, and she’s not happy about it. Everyone in school thinks she’s weird, especially the girls in her Flower Scouts troop. Is it so weird to think scouting should be about fun and adventure, not about makeovers and boys, boys, boys?
But everything changes when Avani is “accidentally” abducted by a spunky alien named Mabel. Mabel is a scout too—a Star Scout. Collecting alien specimens (like Avani) goes with the territory, along with teleportation and jetpack racing. Avani might be weird, but in the Star Scouts she fits right in. If she can just survive Camp Andromeda, and keep her dad from discovering that she’s left planet Earth, she’s in for the adventure of a lifetime.
My opinion: Once you look beyond the surface, this is pretty standard middle grade fare. Being the new kid, coping with bullies, trying to find your strengths; these are all common topics for this age group. Setting the bulk of the plot in outer space is novel and lends a sort of universality to the plot. Avani is a solid character and her new troop is charming. The illustrations are appealing. The panels are detailed and complex without becoming busy.
More Information: Star Scouts releases March 21.
Advanced Reader Copy provided by NetGalley.